“Even Though You Didn’t Ask For It, Here Is My Advice”: Eric

“A universe without purpose should neither depress us nor suggest that our lives are purposeless. Through an awe-inspiring cosmic history we find ourselves on this remote planet in a remote corner of the universe, endowed with intelligence and self-awareness. We should not despair, but should humbly rejoice in making the most of these gifts, and celebrate our brief moment in the sun.” –Lawrence M. Krauss

Eric Bias, Sports Editor

When I was told that all of the seniors on staff would be writing a short entry for our advice column, I was ecstatic. To think that someone could potentially use some of my advice to help shape their life was really exciting! I don’t know if I am qualified to give anybody advice on any topic; but, I will try my best. {Legal disclaimer: By reading this advice column, I (insert name here), hereby state that I will not hold The Hook publication, its staff or Alpharetta High School legally responsible for the results of engaging in the actions suggested in the aforementioned article.} Now that we have the legal mumbo-jumbo dealt with, I would like to start by sharing some tips that have helped me in my time at Alpharetta High School. Let’s get started!

Like the vast majority of students, I arrived here at AHS in the 9th grade. As the years have progressed, I have gone through various phases. During these phases, I really thought that the current version of me was, in a sense, the final version of me. Luckily, I soon realized that we all go through different phases and that the person that we are right at this moment could undergo a drastic change as time treads on. One thing has remained constant, though; I have always seemed to have my whole life planned out: what I wanted to do with my life, the colleges that I was interested in, and even the courses that I wanted to take in order to get myself prepared for the life that I have planned out; however, I later realized that I could only get into a few of the colleges that I was interested in. Also, as I took classes that I thought that I would be interested in, my outlook on my future started to take a more permanent form. Luckily, more classes than not helped confirm my interest in the subject. This is not to say that all of the classes that I took solely out of interest ended up for the best. By taking various science and math classes (academic subjects that I have a great deal of interest in, but am not very good at) I learned that although these were hard classes, I really enjoyed learning about them. I’ll give you an example, I took my first chemistry class in the tenth grade and I immediately fell in love with it! What really drew me to chemistry was the way it seemed to have seamlessly merged the fields of theory and application. We were learning the foundations of what real chemists and chemical engineers use on a daily basis. I went on to take AP Chemistry the next year and my love was the subject was strengthened. Although it was a very difficult class, I found a great deal of joy in coming to class each day. What I am trying to say at the end of my circuitous route is that you should take courses that genuinely interest you. I understand that some courses that you are required to take to graduate are not necessarily ones that you are interested in, but we must endure the drudgery in order to be able to be truly liberated.

As I mentioned earlier, I would really suggest making a list of what you want to do with your life. I started my first career pathway in eighth grade. Although I have made some adjustments to my career plan, it has stayed mostly the same. Matter of fact, I recently made a more specialized plan, which I named “My 5+ Year Plan”, addressing where I saw myself in the near future. This plan not only addressed what I wanted to be doing in the next 5 years, but it outlined where I saw myself in the years afterwards. I think that I have my plans for next year figured out: what I want to study and where I want to attend college. I felt very relieved when I made my plan; seeing it affixed to my whiteboard everyday keeps me focused. Making a plan of where you see yourself in the near future (your definition of the near future could be different than mine, but the principle still remains) and then expanding it to include the time after your initial timeline is an important step in trying to have a more structured life.

However, if you are like the majority of high school seniors, undecided about what you want to do with your life, I would suggest creating a career dartboard. The idea behind a career dartboard is that if you were to toss a dart, you would hit a career that you wouldn’t mind having. With the career dartboard, there is an inverse relationship between the interest in the career and the distance to the bull’s eye on the board. To start your career dartboard, first research careers that interest you, even if it they only interest you a little bit. It is important to note that the careers included in your dartboard could be from various categories; they all don’t have to be related careers. As you start to find careers that you might be interested in, jot them down on a separate list so you can order them once you have all of your options. Once you have ordered your career options, there are several ways that you can structure your dart board. Option 1: you can go around the outside of the board starting at your last option and continue to move in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion creating a spiral, ending in the bull’s eye. Option 2: you can group all of the careers into categories and move inward, making sure to start with your least preferable option on the outer edge of the board. Whichever method you chose, all of the boards will be the same in one aspect: they will all have your #1 career choice in the bull’s eye. I have added career options and moved options around since I created my first dartboard. I feel like this dart board will allow you to have a good idea of what you would like to do with your life. It certainly has been my favorite tool in deciding what I want to do. If you are still torn on what you want to do with your life, you can just let the dart board and the laws of physics make the choice for you; afterall, all of the careers on the dart board are careers that you are interested in.

I sincerely hope that you learned something from reading this article. Thank you for your interest! I wish you the best.

Photo Credits: http://www.thepersonalitycoach.net (featured image)

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